Latest Public Sector News

05.12.16

Large rise in social care costs over last year despite drop in quality

Research by a social care services directory has revealed a huge rise in the cost of adult social care, yet the number of services rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ has fallen.

TrustedCare found that the price of a week in a care home has risen by almost 25% over the last year, from an average of £557.86 a week to £686.32 a week, while the average cost of nursing homes rose by more than a third to £924.82. The cost of home visits also increased.

TrustedCare chief executive Mark Walford argued that the figures, based on data from providers registered in the directory along with calls by researchers to over 100 services, underlined the complexity of care services across the UK.

“The data shows once more that there is a complex mix of factors that affect the quality and cost of care, and that there isn’t a strong correlation between areas of affluence and local care quality as one might expect, despite a strong link to price of care,” he said.

“Instead, factors such as local employment markets, local authority commissioning rates and the level of cooperation between local NHS and social care teams are sure to play into the mix.”

The organisation’s researchers also looked at data from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), finding a 9 percentage point drop in the proportion of services ranked as either good or outstanding – from 88.9% in 2015 to 79.8% over the past year.

The data identified large variation between geographical regions, with Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire seeing about 90% of their services rated as good or outstanding by the CQC compared with less than 70% in Greater Manchester or West Yorkshire. Surprisingly, there was no firm correlation between price and the quality of services in an area.

Andrea Sutcliffe, the CQC’s chief inspector of adult social care, said: “Our state of care report published in October indicated that there is variability in care across the country, with over 70% of services rated as good or outstanding, which is an increase compared with 2015.

“However, we also raised our concerns that adult social care is approaching a tipping point with over a quarter of services rated as requires improvement and a further 2% as inadequate and many of these services struggling to improve.”

The CQC did not comment on TrustedCare’s figures, which it said did not tally with those found in its own report.

Adult social care is the subject of growing concern in the UK, with councils and health experts pleading with the government to provide more funding to the sector to relieve the pressures caused by budget cuts and an ageing population. Last week, the CMA announced that it would conduct a market review into the sector to ensure that service users are getting value for money.

(Image c. CQC press office)

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Parliament cannot solve homelessness through legislation alone

Parliament cannot solve homelessness through legislation alone

Cllr Michelle Lowe, deputy leader and cabinet member for housing and health at Sevenoaks District Council, argues that if the government is really serious about combating homelessness they will work more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Time to embrace change

01/03/2017Time to embrace change

The way we work is changing. As a profession, we must be ready to embrace i... more >
Digital Marketplace: reaching far and wide in the public sector

01/03/2017Digital Marketplace: reaching far and wide in the public sector

Over the next few months, the Government Digital Service (GDS) wants to get... more >

interviews

Leading transformational change through procurement

01/03/2017Leading transformational change through procurement

Liz Welton, chair of the Society of Procurement Officers in Local Governmen... more >

the raven's daily blog

Why opening up procurement matters to the UK public sector

22/03/2017Why opening up procurement matters to the UK public sector

Rob Levene, managing director of Bloom, explains why opening up procurement is important to the UK public sector.  Procuring products and services by the UK public s... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

21/02/2017Untapped potential

As PSE went to press, the government had just released its Industrial Strategy green paper, which has an ambitious aim to “improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country”.  Overall, the strategy was welcomed across the public sector. However, as you’ll read throughout this edition of the magazine, in order to make the aspirations a reality, there needs to be a greater level of freedom for all... read more >